Hi everyone. Welcome back to Book Club Thursday. This week my fellow bloggers and I picked for our topic: Kidding around. What are your feelings on romances with kids in them? Do you love them, hate them, or don't care one way or the other. Kids are a fact of life and a popular plot device.
First off, BABIES: It seems to me that babies are the least complex story-lines. The heroine tells the groom in the epilogue that he's about to become a dad usually right after the wedding. And again, there is the secret baby plot-line, which with the right author, can be quite successful. Usually teen-agers, the dad is either driven out of town not knowing of his impending fatherhood or skedaddles out of town right after his high-school sweetheart does the big reveal, usually because A: he's not ready or B: he has a future in sports and can't be bothered right now, leaving her to raise the child by herself.
Next: Toddler thru Grade-schoolers: This is probably my favorite time for kids in books. In contemporary stories, they usually add a lot of humor. Think demon-spawn if they are on the precocious side. Diana Palmer's Emmett comes to mind and then there is Mary-Nicole aka "Nick" in a couple of Linda Howard's MacKenzie books. This child is usually in just a few pages of each story, but she manages to steal the spotlight from the adults. In a suspense book by Vickie Hinze that I read years ago, there is a little boy who had been kidnapped, but still manages to keep himself together and who tugged at my heart-strings. In the paranormal world, one of my favorite kids, also a polar bear shifter, is Olaf, another of my favorite scene stealers.
The main problem with the toddler group is dialogue for the kids. Very difficult for many authors, even if the book is great. I sometimes cringe when the kids talk because the dialogue becomes a bit cutesy and the kids end up sounding like a young Shirley Temple on a sugar bender.
And finally, the TEENS: There are some good, hard working teens in stories, some are outsiders, judged by bad behavior of their parents, or because they are orphaned and poor. Usually, the hero/heroine are mentors to these type of kids.
And sometimes they are brats. Mean,entitled, spoiled...and hurting. Hard to like, they usually are a younger sibling or a child of the H/h through divorce or being widowed and they need a firm, loving hand by the adults in their life, and generally make it hard for the parent to date. Marilyn Pappano has a series that started last fall about widows of military men. One of the widows has the most obnoxious step-daughter quite possibly ever written. The girl knows her biological mom only wants to see her when it's convenient, but she makes her step-mother miserable even while she (the custodial parent) tries and tries to take care of her and her younger brother. I know more to their story is coming out in the second book coming out later this spring. I don't know how she is going to redeem this surly child, but I hope she can.
I hope you enjoyed this weeks topic and we hope you leave a comment for us at each of our blogs. We hope you join us again next week. Plus there are only a few more days to enter our GIVEAWAY for an e-copy of The King by J R Ward.